Ministry of Education and Culture of Hungary, National Cultural Fund, Budapest Spring Festival, Goethe-Institut Budapest, Candy Hoover Hungary Kft., Ytong (Xella Magyarország Kft.), Ibis Budapest Heroes Square
An event of the Budapest Spring Festival
While the name of the Leipzig School sounds more and more familiar to art lovers, and its influence on other artists is becoming common knowledge, few people have in fact seen the original works, and few are aware that the art of Leipzig equals a visual idiom that is colourful, eye-catching, entertaining, and at the same time, thought-provoking.
One of the most interesting phenomena of the past eight to ten years, both in terms of art history and art trade, is the painting boom that can be witnessed in Leipzig. Now commonly referred to as the “New Leipzig School,” this painting owes its existence to the unique concurrence of a variety of artistic and social phenomena. In the years to follow the fall of the Iron Curtain and the German reunification, several young artists from the west came to the Leipzig College of Graphics and Book Design, whose activity and spirit fertilized and overwrote the outdated, academic style of the school, and the strong local, chiefly realistic, painting tradition. Those distinctive features of style and approach that relied on this rewriting of the tradition and emerged in Leipzig pressed their mark on the discourse of painting in Germany in the 1990s, and such art soon became much sought after the world over. Neo Rauch, Matthias Weischer, David Schnell and the others are now the stars of international galleries, with works fetching record prices. Leipzig is a model and a phenomenon to be studied not only by virtue of the quality of art made there, but also on account of how art is managed in the city.
Műcsarnok’s exhibition offers an introduction to the Leipzig art scene, chiefly to its painting, but also to some of the new media that struck root over the years. Nonetheless, this impressive display does not seek to provide a comprehensive overview, or even highlights, of the scene: this is a selection of works which are made exciting by their subjects or media, and which point beyond the individual oeuvres, towards important phenomena that provide principles for the organization of the display.
The show also represents Leipzig as a city of culture and a place to live. This purpose is to be facilitated by a giant mural in the information room (a work of the creative group 1000%), which provides, in the manner of a cultural GPS, access to various cultic scenes of the contemporary scene in Leipzig, the locales of art. Also, artist Ádám Albert has prepared a graph, a visual representation of relations in the city, which reveals the links between teachers and students, artists and generations.
It is also our hope that the exhibition will help to explain why or how a local phenomenon of art and culture came to have universal significance.